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African Safaris - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THE TERM 'SAFARI'?
Safari is a Swahili name that means adventure, journey or travel. Initially, it was taken to be the hunting expeditions to Africa but has now become a more eco-friendly form of adventure for people of all ages and walks of life. For you travelling to Africa, Safari has become the dream vacation of a lifetime, combining adventure with total comfort to ever-increasing travellers. Visit Africa's most beautiful game reserves, seeing hundreds of rare birds and mammals from your chauffeured safari vehicle. Relax in comfortable lodges surrounded by scenic valleys and plains. Time takes on a new meaning as you learn to sit quietly listening to the sounds of Africa. The balance of nature will no longer be empty words you will see it daily in the drama of animals fighting for their survival and coexistence.
 

WHO GOES ON SAFARI?
An African Safari is perfect vacation for people of all ages, from eight to eighty-eight. A safari is not particularly strenuous or tiring, so anyone in reasonably good health should be able to enjoy his or her stay. Because a safari has something to offer everyone, it has become an increasingly popular motivation as well as a family vacation.
 

WHAT WILL I SEE?
The beauty of Africa encompasses not only birds and animals of all shapes and sizes, but also the many different tribal peoples, and the exotic physical features from mountains to broad savannas, forests to rivers and deserts. Your safari has been carefully planned to include a wide variety of sights and activities.
 

WHAT KINDS OF ANIMALS WILL I SEE?
In a typical day you can expect to see 15 to 20 animal species- lions, elephants, giraffes and rhinos, to name a few. Buffalo and wildebeest may be in herds of hundreds or more. Others, like the swift cheetah, are more likely to be found alone. And then there are the birds, over 300 species! Birds in Africa are particularly colorful and easy to spot. Even if you've never looked at a bird before, with the help of your driver you'll easily learn to identify twenty to thirty of the most striking and beautiful birds of Africa. Experienced birders can expect to see 60 to 100 different species in a single day. A special thrill is in store if your safari coincides with the annual wildebeest migration. You'll see thunderous herds of wildebeest and zebra, totaling more than 1 million, stretching across the horizon. On their trail follow the predators the big cats, and the scavengers hyenas, jackals and vultures. Whenever you go, you'll see animals as you've never seen them before roaming free, just as they have for millions of years.
 

HOW CLOSE WILL I GET TO THE ANIMALS?
Because you are traveling in protected game reserves, many of the animals have no fear as long as you are in a vehicle. You can get surprisingly close, especially when lions are busy feeding on prey, or at rest. Elephants often walk up to and even surround a minibus. Monkeys and baboons may study you as closely as you study them. But natural behavior will only continue if you give the animals some space and are quiet. If you go too close, or talk too loudly, the animals may just leave. Most animals will be more interesting if allowed the space to continue their natural behaviors- stalking, mating, playing with their young. Your driver will know the best viewing distance. Please do not encourage him to "stalk" or otherwise interfere with hunting or other activities crucial to the animal's survival.

 

IS A SAFARI DANGEROUS?
No, not if you stay within the marked boundaries of your lodge or in your minibus. Your guide and driver know what is, and is not, safe. Incidents involving animals are rare in East Africa and are, almost without fail, the result of someone doing what they have been advised not to do. Nairobi is a big, bustling city. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry, hold onto your purse and camera bag, beware of clever conmen and don't walk in the city at night. Do not wear money belts, since they can easily be cut off from the rear. It is always a good idea when you travel to keep a photocopy of your passport in your suitcase and another at home. It's a fact that traveling on safari is safer than traveling in most U.S. cities. The people are friendly, and the government patrols the game parks - their most treasured resource- for the safety and benefit of all.

 

HOW'S THE WEATHER?
Great all year round! Because of the high elevation (3000 to 8000 feet above sea level), and proximity to the equator, there is a pleasant weather throughout the year. The "dry" season is July through October, and December through March. During this time you may expect to find the greatest concentrations of animals because they will congregate around the remaining water holes. The dirt roads may be dusty, but should not prove to be a major discomfort. The relatively "rainy" season includes the month of April, May, and November. During this time the landscape is beautifully green, and there are fewer tourists. The animals are more dispersed, so will be harder to spot. Expect showers interspersed with beautiful sunny skies. Many travelers prefer to go on safari during these months. If your itinerary includes Mombasa or other coastal resort, the best times for you to visit are August through October, and December through March. The coast is warmer and more humid than the rest of Kenya, but you'll find your beach hotel cooled by the ocean breezes. In Kenya and Tanzania the higher you are, the cooler the temperatures. Nairobi, at 5500 ft and most game parks at altitudes above 3000 feet, have ideal temperatures- between 20 and 30 degrees all year round, seldom dropping below a cool 10 degrees at night. Mt. Kenya Safari Club, the tree hotels and the rim of Ngorongoro Crater are closer to 7000 feet and can be quite chilly at night, with temperatures dropping to the mid-forties. The warmest months are December and January and coolest are July and August. Inland, even at the lowest altitudes, the air is dry, thanks to cool mountain breezes.

 

WHEN IS THE MIGRATION?
The " Great Migration " is the heralded movement of millions of wildebeest and zebras across Tanzania's Serengeti plains into the Masai Mara game reserve of Kenya, from late June through early October. Tanzania's annual migration occurs March through May and October through November. Whether you catch the migration or not, there will always be plenty of animals, more than you could ever imagine. And you could take the same safari at the same time every year and always see something different. Nothing remains the same, because the animals are constantly on the move in search of fertile grasslands.

 

HOW ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS?
African Authentic Safaris uses only the finest accommodation available. Hotels in Nairobi are deluxe, with quality shops, restaurants, and amenities. The game lodges are imaginatively built with marvelous gardens and terraces. A typical lodge has bungalows spread across the grounds, a large central reception area, dining room, shops and an attractive outdoor swimming pool. Many have exercise room as well. Each room has twin beds and private bathroom with flush toilet and shower or bath. Tree hotels, such as the Ark or Mountain Lodge, are more rustic, yet feature great views from their lofty perspective, and each bedroom has its own private facilities. Some of our safaris feature permanent tented camps, with large canvas tents erected on concrete or wood platforms. They all have sewn-in floors and net screens. Comfortable beds and a private connecting bathroom with flush toilet and shower made for the most comfortable stay. Many even have swimming pools! Most permanent tented camps in Tanzania retain all the style and glamour of the famous mobile-tented camps. Sensitive to this fragile environment, these camps retain an elegant simplicity, yet offer every feature to ensure a comfortable stay: excellent meals: fine wines and liquors: insect proofed tents with twin beds: private hot water bucket shower: discreet safari toilet: free laundry service. Private camps are set up in private game viewing areas far from other tourists. Here you'll have a chance to view game on foot, or by four-wheel drive vehicle with your highly trained naturalists guides. For most, these exclusive camps are the ultimate African experience.

 
 
 

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African Authentic Safaris Ltd.

Suite 110, 1st Floor, Uniafric House, Koinange St.
P. O. Box 4293 - 00200 (City Square) Nairobi - KENYA
Phone: 254-2- 2214172 / 2214173 Fax: 254-2- 2214174
CELLULAR HOTLINE: 254-722- 566725 / 0732 566725
Website: www.authentic-africa.com
Email: info@authentic-africa.com

 

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